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Old 09-04-2017, 06:10 AM
7,983 posts, read 11,675,232 times
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My sister lives about 45 min from her kids and sees them quite a bit. But it isn't "visiting"....Sure yes she goes for birthday parties and stuff but she also helps out, babysitting, driving, yes dog sitting. "Visiting" can be sort of a burden, you are expected to entertain someone. Family is engaged in things, whether helping with that birthday party, driving kids to school or soccer, afterschool care, whatever.
They managed their lives without you around. If you want to stay and be part of their lives I think you are going to have to insert yourself and make yourself useful. It will be a slow process as you feel out what is needed, welcome, unwelcome, but worthwhile if it works out. Only you can know the personal dynamics involved and determine whether this is a possibility.

I would also have a conversation about it. Set something up with just your kids where you won't be interrupted. Be frank and honest.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:18 AM
Location: SW Florida
201 posts, read 188,977 times
Reputation: 340

While I'm not in your exact situation, I do live far from most of my family except for one relative here in Sarasota. I moved here to Sarasota, Fl after I retired and have made a new life here. There have been some transition glitches but that is to be expected.

My most recent trip up to NY, PA, and Delaware was a difficult one. I won't go into a lot of details but there are lots of family problems going on up there. Even though I have two grandchildren in NY and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them, any thoughts of moving back were quickly dashed! When I returned from my trip, I felt so relieved and yet also felt a bit of sadness as well. However, it really made me see how lucky I am and how appreciative i am of where I live now.

I can't tell you what to do, but I think it is important to do what feels right for you. If you are not happy living there, a move back to Fl might be the better choice. Best of luck to you whatever you decide.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:22 AM
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 679,057 times
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Something I figured out long ago after watching clients, you can't chase your kids. You can try and some succeed but generally, it's a science experiment destined for failure. Kudos to those who have had a successful science experiment.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:08 AM
Location: Midwest
4,291 posts, read 7,159,130 times
Reputation: 7300
I think you answered your own question.

YOU pay your kids to come visit in Florida? Are they helpless or homeless?

You never see them? You had to rent a room when "visiting?"

You had friends and actual family in Florida. Your offspring sound more like virtual family, they don't have much to do with you other than birth certificates.

I've never been to Florida but I've spend some time in Michigan and the Detroit area.

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Old 09-04-2017, 02:13 PM
350 posts, read 254,246 times
Reputation: 844
Come on back!!
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:24 PM
Location: Grove City, Ohio
10,138 posts, read 12,402,575 times
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In April we made the move from the Florida Georgia line 800 miles north to Ohio to be closer to the family and the grandchildren.

Best move we ever made.

We are close, 15 minutes, but not to close so everyone has their private space but grandma loves to watch the grandchildren so she does this as much as she is called upon to do it to help our daughter with her three very young ones. Three children all one year apart so you can imagine.

While we do not live in an age restricted community it seems most people, I would guess a solid 80% are retired or of retirement age. My guess would be my wife already knows 80% of the people who live in our community of 88 condo's and between that and church, where she is very active, her life is full. Something going on nearly every day it seems and if she is happy then I am happy.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:51 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,649 posts, read 17,623,979 times
Reputation: 27733
Without turning this into a state vs. state match, people should not discount Michigan. There are many, many beautiful areas of the state that rival beautiful areas of Florida. While Detroit and Flint make national headlines for their troubles, there are many wonderful areas in Michigan that fly under the radar. Likewise, many people get the impression that all of Florida is lovely beaches and paradise, without remembering that much of interior Florida is rather bland, extremely hot, and not that desirable. Neither state is horrible or perfect - both have good and bad, but Michigan gets an especially bad rap in the press.

As a younger person on the other end of this equation, one thing the elder must understand is that for many young people, everything is far more transient than it was a couple of decades ago. I moved back to my hometown after building some skills in a completely random city I would never have moved to without being economically desperate in my hometown several years back. While I am doing very well by this town's standards now, I understand that if I were to lose my job for any reason, I would likely have to move, or my salary is likely to be cut by a third or half.

I want to buy a house, but I understand that is not too smart when things are consistently up in the air. As an adult, I have never felt truly secure no matter where I was, for one reason or another. I always thought I was on the verge of being fired at both jobs I had in Indianapolis. I don't feel like I'm going to be fired here, but my company may be bought by another, and with that merger, consolidation is likely, along with the general fear of a bad economy.

Unless I moved to a major city where I felt secure in buying a home, finding another job should something happen, etc., I would never recommend that my parents or grandparents chase me around the country. Likewise, if I lose my job here and must move, I have told my family that I cannot return at their every whim. If I had moved back here and no one gave a damn, and I didn't like the area anyway, I would just move to wherever I want to be.

In your case, go back to Florida. Explain your feelings to the family in Michigan. If they still don't want to actively be in your life even after reaching out and explaining your feelings, just move back to Florida and live your life.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:45 AM
Location: R.I.
982 posts, read 608,186 times
Reputation: 4276
Originally Posted by suesamover View Post
I lived in Michigan for many years before moving to Florida to work in 1999, and I moved back October 2016 to be near my two grown adult children, and my one adult grandchild in the Downriver area. During this entire year, I haven't seen or heard from them much, see them about every two to three months, and we talk about once or twice a month, but do text more often. I don't have a social life here, and it seems so much harder to make friends once you are older. I am 73. I am considering moving back to Florida where I had a very active social life, and in addition to close friends, I have two older brothers and a sister there that I socialize with quite alot. When I lived in Florida I would only see my children if they flew to Florida (I pay for them to come fly back and forth) or I fly back to see them. They don't have a bedroom for me when I do come back and I rent a motel room. That hurts my feelings, as I always made room for them when they came, and I always treated them the entire time they visited me. People here warned me that I may not see them, and things like this might happen. Are any of you in the same or similar situation? What do you advise me to do? I have a good retirement, and no debt. Why am I so torn about this? I need your advice, please.
I think in some situations but not all, when either parents or children relocate a significant distance from each other where frequent person to person contact is not possible distance can alter the closeness of the parent child relationship.

I have only one sibling who is my older sister who relocated to another state 800 miles away after marriage when I was in my early teens because that is where her husband lived and worked. I on the other hand remained in our home town and lived 10 minutes from my parents and my maternal grandmother who passed when I was 21. As I entered adulthood being in close proximity to my parents I had the time and opportunity to develop an adult relationship with my parents which was very different than the relationship I had with them as a child. And I very much enjoyed as an adult spending time with my parents which was not because I had to but because I wanted to. My Dad and I had a standing date just about every Saturday morning which he took me to the Navy base grocery store to shop and then we would go out to lunch and these dates were some of the fondest memories I have of spending time with my Dad. When we would return home from our date I would then take my Mom who did not drive shopping to some department store where she just loved to browse which my father did not have patience for, and following we would get a bite to eat and these times produced some of the fondest memories of my Mom. My sister on the other hand did not have the opportunity to spend this type of time with our parents because distance prevented it, and I think because of this she had a very different adult relationship with our parents than I had. My sister and her family would visit our parents for two weeks every summer which was initially stressful for both she and my parents, but by the time they got accustomed to each other again where time together was not strained but enjoyable, it was time for my sister and her famly to return home.

Distance apart from my sister was also difficult for me, and although I could visit at different times during the year which I did when my niece and nephew were young, with me being a young teen when my sister relocated we really never had to opportunity to develop a close adult relationship. And that is still evident today even though now my sister who relocated back to town 12 years ago after her husband passed to help care for our aging parents and only lives 10 minutes from me, although we talk often on the phone, with my sister retired and me still working full time aside from holidays we spend very little time together. Honestly, my sister has more of a sister relationship with several of her friends that she remained close to since childhood, and I have the same type of relationship with several of my friends for the same reason. It is what it is and both my sister and I can't make up for those lost years that distance prevented us from spending time together cultivating a close adult sister relationship, so we make the best of what our relationship is now.

Although the decision will not be an easy one, you need to decide where your heart will truly be happiest and follow it because life is too short to feel sad over circumstances that you have no power to change.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:51 PM
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,214 posts, read 1,356,544 times
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Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
Obviously you are an adult and capable of your own decisions - so I won't pretend to give advice.

However, what you describe is VERY common in America today. In fact, HBO did a documentary on the FL development where my MIL lives (Kings Point) and one of the subplots is that many women go down there and have some of their golden years...but, then, many of their friends pass away and they get older themselves and want to (or do) move back up north to be with or near their families.

There are a lot of problems with this scenario, though. In general, the US no longer has large nuclear and extended families which inhabit homes close to each other and who socialize regularly. More typically, family members have moved far and wide - if not geographically, then definitely in spirit. Many siblings don't get along - and the same goes with parents/children. On one hand we cherish our children becoming responsible adults and going out on their ofwn - on the other hand, should we expect them to live like "in the old days" when families were closer geographically??

I have seen a lot of this in my own family. My wife's grandfather retired to FL with a lot of money and was rumored to be having fun with new GF's, etc. - but, as happens to us all, he grew old and then ended up wanting to come back up to Philadelphia to die (effectively). It was a very difficult situation since his daughter and SIL (my wives parents) had fought with him constantly. He never really accepted their marriage because they were not as successful as he was.

In my own case, my family was - like many - close back in the old days when I was growing up (Philadelphia Italian and Jewish communities). But my parents ended up much higher on the social and financial ladder than some of the rest of the family and retired early, moving - of course - to Florida. They did this at about age 55-60. That was 25+ years ago. We remained friendly and visited (one way or the other) about 4 times a year. But they 100% realized that they were moving and retiring for THEMSELVES....and that, in effect, they wanted to just have as good of a time as possible for the duration of their lives. They largely accomplished this - and, being very logical and reasonable people, they had always claimed that they would never burden any of us with taking care of them when they got older.

I must say - they haven't broken the deal although they are now starting to go through all the pain and problems of advancing age (late 80's).

There is no real point to these stories - other than to suggest that we all make our bargains with ourselves and with the world. Sticking to those bargains can be tough.

Based on your post- it's fairly obvious that you could talk to them, facetime or otherwise communicate just as easily from 1200 miles away as you can from 20.

As you have made somewhat clear, you are not happy with their lack of respect for you - the Motel Room and all. Of course, this could be a matter of their finances. We happen to have 3 extra bedrooms so we were able to have either set of parents come and stay. But if we had a tiny or full house that could have been difficult.

I think it's time to think about Florida again.
I think you have described what many of us remember from our childhoods, when families lived near enough to each other to visit every weekend. I remember constant family gatherings as a child, and I have 70+ years of photo albums to prove it. There were many cousins on both sides of the family. We gathered at relatives who had big houses and backyards, as well as those with small apartments.

Now, not so much. We have smaller families and they are scattered. As I get older, it gets harder to feel so independent as I once did. I have one child, a son. He just doesn't have the experience of large family gatherings as a major part of life. It's sad, in a way. And I'm not sure how much help he will be when I need it.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:52 PM
Location: Las Vegas
13,895 posts, read 25,351,824 times
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You already sacrificed more than enough for your kids. Do what makes you happy.
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